A new American dream of making a huge living in sports at both the collegiate and professional level is rapidly growing. Today’s youth strive to join the ranks of the greatest who ever played a sport, and college is the beginning of that dream. At this level athletes forfeit a great deal to be able to spend hours each day practicing. Currently, a college athlete cannot be given money or marketed in a way that profits the school or the athlete. A growing controversy centers on whether these athletes deserve to make money for all their hard work. In discussions of compensation for college athletes, a particular point of disagreement has been weather or not college athletes should be paid for their hard work. Some people argue that college athletes have no time to work and therefore should be paid, while others contend that college athletes already receive compensation by not having to pay for college tuition. However the best approach would be to pay athletes for their contributions to the N.C.A.A. College athletes should be paid because they work so hard but receive severe injuries instead of money, they train so hard each day so they can play each game at their very best, and the N.C.A.A. makes profit off of a players work.
Injuries are a common occurrence during sporting events. ” There are over 3.8 million sports related injuries that occur each year” (McDevitt). Some of these injuries are concussions. Concussions are caused by a blow to the head and affect the brain in many ways including: balance problems, depression, and many others such as brain damage. Concussions are the most serious injury an athlete can sustain while playing a sport. Derek Sheely, a college football player for Frostburg State University, sustained a bad concussion during preseason. He began to recover then was put back on the field where he was pushed very hard; he hit his head again and ended up dying (Fenno). This is just one incident where a college athlete died due to a concussion. Brain surgeon Jane McDevitt states, “That concussions in athletes accounts for 16.5 billion dollars or 44% of all hospitalization.” This is saying how almost half of all the hospitalization in sports are caused by concussions. How is it fair that a player can sustain an expensive injury while putting their health at risk and make nothing? Some concussions are more serious than others. If a college athlete sustains a concussion he or she may have to stop playing that sport and lose the scholarship. If a student loses his or her scholarship they can no longer afford the college they were attending. Most athletes are only attending the school they are at because they received a scholarship, if they loose the scholarship they may drop out of that school due to money. This is one reason why college athletes should be paid.
In contrast, some people think athletes should not be paid. These people think this because athletes are already being given a free ride to college and they are not employees. An athlete may be given a full paid scholarship; however, if they begin to fail a class they will lose their scholarship. It is hard for athletes to keep their grades up when they’re always on the road and have so much work responsibilities on their backs. This unneeded responsibility can affect them in many ways. One way is that if they are always stressing out about loosing their scholarship they will not play as well as they should. Athletes are not only worried about losing their scholarships; they have to worry about making money to afford things. If college athletes were paid they would not have to worry about earning money or loosing their scholarships.
People can say that athletes are not employees but they put in the work, time, and effort that any normal working person puts into his or her job. An athlete trains for 45 hours a week, that’s more then a full time job. A full time job is 40 hours. Amy McCormick, Should College Athletes be Paid to Play, stated that,” Division 1 athletes are qualified as employees under Federal Labor Laws.” In the world today citizens are taught to reward others for their hard work. Training for 45 hours a week is hard work and then trying to manage schoolwork on top of that is even more difficult. The main reason why people think they should not be paid is because they have no way of doing so. If athletes were paid football player could not be paid more then baseball or it would lead to other issues. William David wrote, “That the only reason they are not paid is because there is no way of doing so.” Finding a way to pay athletes may be time consuming but it would definitely be worth every second.
Athletes are vulnerable to injuries that can affect them life long. There are many other types of injuries besides concussions that athletes may sustain. Other common types of injuries athletes sustain are broken or dislocated bones. Depending on the degree of the break the athlete may not be able to play a sport anymore also lose the scholarship. Knee injuries are another common type of injuries, which are often career ending, include ACL and MCL. These are knee injuries, ACL and MCL, which can be divesting to an athlete because of how important knees are to a player. Athletes must then go through a rigorous rehab process to help their knee heal. Even when the knee has healed, it will never be the same, which means the athlete is more likely to injure it again, not just by playing sports, but maybe at a work party in their career or a high school reunion. Along with losing their scholarships, injuries like these make mobility an issue; therefore they also make working an issue. Athletes play each game like it’s their last and for some it really is their last.
An athlete trains for what seems like endless hours, it’s their job, and they receive no benefits for putting in the hard work. In society, we are taught to reward each other for their hard work with good pay. College athletes train for 30-45 hours a week; they attend classes and do a school work for about 45 hours a week; a full time job is 40 hours, both are more then a full time job. An athlete has 168 hours a week and 85 are already taken, that is not including sleeping or time for homework.” Between training each week and games, they run out of energy. Running out of energy as a young adult can lead to many problems both physically and mentally. A physical effect is that the athlete is very tired and will not feel like doing his or her schoolwork. If that athlete does not feel like doing his or her work then most of the time they will not do it. This leads to more problems such, as their grades will drop. When their grades drop low enough they will fail the class. If an athlete fails then they can lose their scholarship. If athletes were paid then some of this mental stress would be relieved and they could focus more on school and the sport.
Not only do injuries affect an athlete, but also trying to focus on school and maintain a high grade point average is a very tough thing to do. Trying to focus on a sport while having to make sure your grades are good so the athlete does not lose the scholarship is very nerve-wracking. Sometimes you need a little break from that long day but it’s hard when that athlete has no money. “College students have a reputation of being broke,” said a professor from Monmouth University. Athletes have no time to obtain even a part time job because they are also training or doing schoolwork. This leads to other problems because if an athlete cannot work then he or she will have no spare money. If the player has no spare money they are not able to get away from their stressful lives and see a movie or go to a bar. Everyone needs time to unwind after long stressful days and a way to keep their mind off of things. If athletes were paid they would have that spare money and could use it to go out and have fun or relax.
Along with focusing on school, many times college athletes do not have the time to join other clubs or activities that the school offers. If a Division I athlete wants to join another club, orchestra, or another sport they will not be able to. If an athlete played a division one sport while being in a club they would have to miss a lot of the clubs meetings. This is unfair it taking away from their college experience. Having a college experience is crucial to a student, these students are not able to have it because they are to busy with the one sport. If student athletes were paid to play the sports they would not feel as left out about not being able to participate in other activities, sports, clubs, or some free time to just relax and reflect on life. This is because they are always on the road. Athletes are always traveling weather its actually on the road or just running around at a practice. If an athlete is going to a game he or she may be in the bus for hours. Athletes end up having to study and do their school work on the bus. They also have to miss many classes because they are always traveling. “Athletes don’t have free choice of what major they take if the class conflicts with the practice schedule, they cannot take it or just miss a majority of the classes,” said Amy McCormick (Cooper). Athletes are sometimes put in classes that are not even used toward their major. They are put into these classes because these classes are they only ones that fit into the training and game schedule. This is bad because when the athlete completes his or her four-year scholarship he or she cannot graduate with a degree. If an athlete misses class then he or she begins to fall behind. When a student misses three or more classes at Penn State Brandywine their grade in that class will drop one letter. When that athlete falls to behind they will fail out of the class. If athletes were paid they would not have to worry about loose scholarships. They could focus more on the sport and their grades rather then just trying to slide by to keep the scholarship.
The final reason why college athletes should be paid is because the N.C.A.A. a profit of over millions of dollars off athletes in different ways (Blum). Why should the N.C.A.A. get paid for someone else hard work. The N.C.A.A. makes an annual profit of $750 million each year just off of television contracts (Vecsey). They also make money off of an athlete by selling their jersey. This is very unfair that an athlete’s jersey is sold but they make no money off of it. Recently an athlete tried to sell his own shoes and got in trouble for it, that is very unfair. Athletes should be able make compensation off their own attire.
Athletes cannot make money off there own gear. Athletes cannot sell their own shoes or his or her own jersey; this is one way the N.C.A.A. makes money. Another way they make money is when a college makes it to the championship the N.C.A.A. makes money off the tickets that are sold for the games. Another way they make money is off of video games. They use the athletes face in the game but the athlete still makes no money. The New York Times says, “That the N.C.A.A. should set a side a profit for athletes.”
Not only is it unfair that the student athletes do not get paid, but the N.C.A.A. makes a profit, the coaches are paid for their position. In 1993 a coach tired to sue the N.C.A.A. because he was not being paid enough and his athletes were mad their jerseys were being sold and they were not making any money (Vecsey). A coach gets paid every time they sign a new athlete to their team. Coaches also get paid to train their athletes; this may be why coaches push their athletes so hard. They do it because they make money off how well their team plays. All in all, athlete not others should be rewarded for there hard work.
In conclusion, the N.C.A.A. needs to pay their student athletes. Instead of the people who are in charge of the organization making all the money, they should have some of their salaries cut in order to give the student athletes a specific amount of money for each semester they participate in a sport. College athletes should be paid because they work so hard but sustain severe injuries instead of money. Concussions may not only be career ending, but life threatening. Knee injuries prohibit athletes from being the same kind of athlete pre-injury. Student athletes train so hard each day so they can play each game at his or her very best, while trying to attend class and get all of the work done for each class. Student athletes have no time to be apart of any other school activities because of this. The N.C.A.A makes money off of each student athlete while the athlete receives no compensation for his or her work.
Blum, D. E. “Assistant basketball coaches sue NCAA over salary limits.” The Chronicle of
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“College Athletes should Get Paid Too.” University Wire. Oct 16 2013. ProQuest. Web. 5 Nov. 2013 .Cooper, Kenneth J. “Should College Athletes be Paid to Play?” Diverse Issues in Higher Education28.10 (2011): 12-3. ProQuest. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
Fenno, Nathan. “Suit Filed Against NCAA, Coach in Frostburg Player’s Death”. The Washington times (Washington, D.C. : 1982) (0732-8494), p. C.2
McDevitt, Jane K., et al. “Neuronal Structural Protein Polymorphism And Concussion In College Athletes.” Brain Injury 25.11 (2011): 1108-1113. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Nov. 2013.
“Should College Athletes be Paid?” New York Times (1923-Current file): 1. Mar 25 1990. ProQuest. Web. 5 Nov. 2013 .”Should College Athletes be paid?” Sentinel: 2. Mar 2006. ProQuest. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
Vecsey, George. “College Athletes Move Concussions Into the Courtroom.” New York Times 30 Nov. 2011, sec. B: 14. LexisNexis. Web. 05 Nov. 2013
Williams, David. “Williams: Student-Athletes Should Not be Paid Or Treated as University
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This entry was posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2013.